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Venice to Avignon by Train, how?

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May 9th, 2013, 12:29 AM
  #1
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Venice to Avignon by Train, how?

My husband and two tween daughters need to go from Venice to Avignon. Is there a train that goes straight without having to change anywhere? Does anyone know how long it takes?

Thanks!
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May 9th, 2013, 03:00 AM
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The fastest connection takes 11 hours but with three changes 8:32 departing from Venezia, 19:28 arriving at Avignon, with changes in Milano, Ventimiglia and Nice.

There is one connection with just one change in Geneve which requires an overnight stay in Geneve: 16:20 departing from Venezia, 23:18 arriving at Geneve. 6:42 (or later) departing from Geneve, 9:38 arriving at Avignon.

Another option is flying. There are frequent flights from Venezia to Marseille with Air France.
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May 9th, 2013, 03:53 AM
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Book Venice to Ventimiglia (on the French border) from €19 at www.trenitalia.com

Then buy a ticket at the station for €7 to Nice, local trains run every 30 minutes, journey around 48 minmutes.

Then pre-book Nice-Avignon at www.voyages-sncf.com (avoiding diversion to rail Europe) or www.loco2.com or www.capitainetrain.com from what, €25 or so upwards.

Booking opens 92 days ahead. Allow plenty of time at the interchange points.

You'll find this a lovely scenic ride along the coast, both on the San Remo to Nice bit and Nice to St Raphael.
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May 9th, 2013, 06:54 AM
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flying makes more sense - check flights to Marseilles or Nimes, both short train rides from Avignon - otherwise that is an all-day marathon and the problem with booking Man in Seat 61's 'from 19 euro' tickets is that they are train-specific and non-changeable nor refundable - therefore leave time for trains to be late - build in an hour at least between non-refundable non-changeable trains - the 'Cote d'azur metro' as the coastal trains from Ventimiglia to Nice have been dubbed are notorious for running late or not running to schedule IME.

For lots of great info on European trains check out not only Man in Seat 61's commercial site - www.seat61.com (which for some reason has a commercial link to Rail Europe even though he disses them all the time (???) and also www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
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May 9th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Thanks for your great responses with different options. I'd rather avoid airports as we will have enough of those on this trip. Even Man_in_seat_61's sounds like an adventure. The girls will love the journey, and we aren't in a rush.

I was hoping for an overnight train like the ones they have from Venice to Paris.

Would it make send to just do Venice to Paris for a fun overnight experience on the train, get to Paris well rested, and then immediately book a Paris-Avignon train, this time during daylight so we enjoy the view?

We will be spending a week in the Provence area, and then the last week of the trip in Paris. We fly out of Paris.

Thanks for your suggestions.
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May 9th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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the overnight train can be cheap if you book way in advance at www.thello.com and can do with a 4-person compartment - the earlier you book the better - ditto for Paris to Avignon - www.voyages-sncf.com or www.idTGV.com - it will cost more for the longer route but you will save on the cost of a night in a hotel.
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May 9th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions! I have decided on this trip:

Venice to Paris- overnight train, couchette with 4 berths
Transfer to
Paris to Avignon- direct train, 2nd class.

I will try to book everything tomorrow, and then start working on my accommodations! Ack! So late in the day. In case you have suggestions for Provence accommodations, we want to stay outside of St. Remy. We will get a car when we arrive (I mean book the car ahead)

Hope I'm able to book with my credit card! Thanks again!
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May 9th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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You probably do not have to go all the way to Paris but perhaps get off at a place like Dijon - much closer to Avignon and has cheaper trains if you cannot get a discounted TGV ticket - not sure what time that train goes thru Dijon or if it still does since it was revamped last year under new ownership - replacing the infamous Artesia night trains.
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May 9th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Thanks for that tip! I'll check that route!
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May 9th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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Well it is listed Dijon-Ville - the main station in Dijon (itself one of the finest larger cities in France) as a stop on www.bahn.de/en - the German Railways pan-European train schedule site that to me is the easiest to use but it doesn't give a stopping time - train arrives in Paris at 10:14 so should stop in Dijon no more than two hours earlier - check www.thell.com site I guess. From Dijon I think you can take regional trains thru the heart of Burgundy via Lyon to Avignon - even to the old station right inside the town center and these trains have pretty much flat fare structure so do not need pin down in advance - usually!
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May 9th, 2013, 11:34 PM
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Thanks for this. I think we may hire a car in Dijon then and drive the rest of the way.

But Venice to Dijon is about $650 for all four of us, one way. Is this really how much it costs?
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May 10th, 2013, 05:37 AM
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did you check prices on www.thello.com or www.raileurope.com?

$650 sounds like full fare - about right but thello.com site has prices from 59 or 69 euros a person on some trains at least I've seen.
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May 10th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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If you want to rent a car, it may make more sense to do that at Chambery:
Venice dp by train 12.50 - Chambery ar 20.17
Chambery - Avignon: 3 hrs drive
or at Menton:
Venice dp by train 11.50 - Menton ar 19.29
Menton - Avignon: 3 hrs drive
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May 10th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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If you want to rent a car, it may make more sense to do that at Chambery: not sure many folks would want to drive that late at night but good tips!
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May 10th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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If you want to rent a car, it may make more sense to do that at Chambery:
Venice dp by train 12.50 - Chambery ar 20.17>

better option for day travel - leave Venice 8:50 am arrive Chambery 18:16 - better for driving on to Avignon.
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May 10th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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You better check rental closing times. Most aren't open very late.

>>>But Venice to Dijon is about $650 for all four of us, one way. Is this really how much it costs?<<<

Yes, if the discounts are sold out, that is the regular price.

If you don't take the night train, book Venice/Milan (look for 9€ discount fares on the morning trains). Book Milan/Geneva separately on Trenitalia (allow a bit of change and snack time in Milan). Enter your cities, select the EC train to Geneva and on the next screen below the prices select "VIEW OTHER PRICES AND SERVICES (CARTAFRECCIA offers, discount cards,other offers)" and click continue. If Smart fares are still available, in the offer box for each ticket change from Adult/Standard to Smart. You should get 22€ fares instead of the regular 78€. If you can't click Smart, try clicking Smart 2 (about 32€). If neither can be clicked, the discounts are sold out. You will get a code to retrieve these tickets at a self service kiosk in the train station in Italy (you can pick them up in Venice, no need to wait until Milan).
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May 11th, 2013, 11:35 AM
  #17
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omg, thanks all for all your great suggestions. It looks now like I have to get to Avignon on a Saturday so that means I have 3 days to "kill" between Venice and Avignon, and I can break up the trip.

Any ideas on which city/town I could visit between Venice and Avignon? (We would've come from Tuscany and Rome already).

Thanks for your patience!
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May 11th, 2013, 12:42 PM
  #18
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Alternatively, since I can't seem to get a direct train, We might just drive from Venice to Avignon, and break the trip overnighting somewhere in the middle, like Genoa. Does this sound sane?
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May 11th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Where will you give back your car?
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May 11th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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aix-en-Provence would be a nice stop before Avignon - city of Cezanne I believe and a sweet university town with ancient streets - kind of a mix of swank Paris and old Provence.
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